[NOTE – History of Spanish constitutions: 1808–1814 Napoleonic restructuring from royal edict to bicameral parliament (progressive); 1812 La Pepa The first attempt at decentralization or republicanism (progressive); 1814 La Pepa derogated by (conservative) king; 1834 Absolute monarchy (conservative); 1837 Constitutional monarchy (progressive); 1845 Regency empowerment (conservative); 1856 Failed attempt at democracy (progressive); 1869 Another failed attempt at democracy (progressive); 1873 1st Democratic Republic (progressive); 1876 Failed attempt to become a federal republic (conservative); 1931 2nd Democratic Republic (progressive); 1936 Martial law (Franco – conservative); 1939 – 1978 Franco Dictatorship (conservative); 1978 Transition to democratic monarchy (progressive)]
[Note: This edition is consolidated up to the amendment of 27 Aug 1992.]
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The Spanish Nation, desiring to establish justice, liberty, and security, and to promote the well-being of all its members, in the exercise of its sovereignty proclaims its will to:
guarantee democratic coexistence within the Constitution and the laws in accordance with a just economic and social order;
consolidate a state of law which insures the rule of law as the expression of the popular will;
protect all Spaniards and peoples of Spain in the exercise of human rights, their cultures and traditions, languages, and institutions;
promote the progress of culture and the economy to insure a dignified quality of life for all;
establish an advanced democratic society; and
collaborate in the strengthening of peaceful relations and effective cooperation among all the peoples of the earth.
Therefore, the Parliament approves, and the Spanish people ratify the following Constitution:
[Title 0] Preliminary Title
Article 1 [State Principles, Sovereignty, Form]
(1) Spain constitutes itself into a social and democratic state of law which advocates liberty, justice, equality, and political pluralism as the superior values of its legal order.
(2) National sovereignty belongs to the Spanish people from whom emanate the powers of the state.
(3) The political form of the Spanish State is the parliamentary Monarchy.
Article 2 [National Unity, Regional Autonomy]
The Constitution is based on the indissoluble unity of the Spanish nation, the common and indivisible homeland of all Spaniards, and recognizes and guarantees the right to autonomy of the nationalities and regions which make it up and the solidarity among all of them.
Article 3 [Official Language]
(1) Castilian is the official Spanish language of the state. All Spaniards have the duty to know it and the right to use it.
(2) The other languages of Spain will also be official in the respective autonomous communities, in accordance with their Statutes.
(3) The richness of the linguistic modalities of Spain is a cultural patrimony which will be the object of special respect and protection.
Article 4 [Flag]
(1) The Spanish flag is formed by three horizontal stripes: red, yellow, and red, with the yellow stripe being twice as wide as each of the red stripes.
(2) Recognition of flags and ensigns of the autonomous communities is admissible by law. These will be used beside the flag of Spain on their public buildings and in their official acts.
Article 5 [Capital Madrid]
The capital of the State is the city of Madrid.
Article 6 [Political Parties]
Political parties express democratic pluralism, assist in the formulation and manifestation of the popular will, and are a basic instrument for political participation. Their creation and the exercise of their activity are free within the observance of the Constitution and the laws. Their internal structure and operation must be democratic.
Article 7 [Unions]
Worker unions and associations of employers contribute to the defense and promotion of their own economic and social interests. Their creation and the exercise of their activity are free within the observance of the Constitution and the laws. Their internal structure and operation must be democratic.
Article 8 [Armed Forces]
(1) The Armed Forces, constituting the Land Army, the Navy and the Air Force, have as their mission the guarantee of the sovereignty and independence of Spain, the defense of its territorial integrity and the constitutional order.
(2) An organic law will regulate the bases of the military organization in conformity with the principles of the present Constitution.
Article 9 [Rule of Law]
(1) The citizens and public powers are subject to the Constitution and the legal order.
(2) It is the responsibility of the public powers to promote conditions so that liberty and equality of the individual and the groups he joins will be real and effective; to remove those obstacles which impede or make difficult their full implementation, and to facilitate participation of all citizens in the political, economic, cultural, and social life.
(3) The Constitution guarantees the principle of legality, the normative order, the publication of the norms, the non-retroactivity of punitive provisions which are not favorable to, or which restrict individual rights, legal security, and the interdiction of arbitrariness of public powers.
Title I Basic Rights and Duties
[Chapter 0 General Provision]
Article 10 [Human Dignity, Human Rights]
(1) The dignity of the person, the inviolable rights which are inherent, the free development of the personality, respect for the law and the rights of others, are the foundation of political order and social peace.
(2) The norms relative to basic rights and liberties which are recognized by the Constitution shall be interpreted in conformity with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the international treaties and agreements on those matters ratified by Spain.
Chapter I Spaniards and Aliens
Article 11 [Spanish Nationality]
(1) Spanish nationality is acquired, preserved, and lost in accordance with provisions established by law.
(2) No one of Spanish birth may be deprived of his nationality.
(3) The State may make dual nationality treaties with the Ibero-American countries and with those which may have had, or have, a special bond with Spain. In these countries, even when they do not grant their own citizens a reciprocal right, Spaniards may become naturalized without losing their nationality of origin.
Article 12 [Majority]
Spaniards become adults at 18 years of age.
Article 13 [Aliens, Extradition, Asylum]
(1) Aliens in Spain may enjoy the public freedoms guaranteed by the present Title under the terms which treaties or laws may establish.
(2) Only Spaniards shall have the rights recognized in Article 23 except that which in keeping with the criteria of reciprocity may be established by treaty or law for the right to active and passive suffrage in municipal elections.
(3) Extradition will only be granted in compliance with a treaty or the law in keeping with the principle of reciprocity. Excluded from extradition are political crimes and acts of terrorism not being considered as such.
(4) The law shall establish the terms under which citizens of other countries and stateless persons may enjoy the right to asylum in Spain.
Chapter II Rights and Freedoms
[Section 0 General Provision]
Article 14 [Equality]
Spaniards are equal before the law, without any discrimination for reasons of birth, race, sex, religion, opinion, or any other personal or social condition or circumstance.
Section 1 Basic Rights, Public Liberties
Article 15 [Life, Personal Integrity, No Death Penalty]
Everyone has the right to life and physical and moral integrity and in no case may be subjected to torture or inhuman or degrading punishment or treatment. The death penalty is abolished except in those cases which may be established by military penal law in times of war.
Article 16 [Religion, Belief, No State Church]
(1) Freedom of ideology, religion, and cult of individuals and communities is guaranteed without any limitation in their demonstrations other than that which is necessary for the maintenance of public order protected by law.
(2) No one may be obliged to make a declaration on his ideology, religion, or beliefs.
(3) No religion shall have a state character. The public powers shall take into account the religious beliefs of Spanish society and maintain the appropriate relations of cooperation, with the Catholic Church and other denominations.
Article 17 [Personal Liberty]
(1) Every person has the right to liberty and security. No one may be deprived of his liberty without observance of the provisions of this article and only in the cases and in the form prescribed by law.
(2) Preventive arrest may not last more than the time strictly necessary for the investigations which tend to clarify events, and in every case, within a maximum period of 72 hours, the person detained must be freed or placed at the disposal of the judicial authority.
(3) Every person arrested must be informed immediately, and in a way that is understandable to him, about his rights and the reasons for his arrest, and he may not be forced to make a statement. The assistance of an attorney to the arrested is guaranteed during police and judicial proceedings under the terms established by law.
(4) The law will regulate a process of habeas corpus so that any person who is illegally arrested may be immediately placed at the disposal of the judiciary. The maximum period of provisional imprisonment shall also be determined by law.
Article 18 [Honor, Privacy, Home, Secrecy of Communication]
(1) The right of honor, personal, and family privacy and identity is guaranteed.
(2) The home is inviolable. No entry or search may be made without legal authority except with the express consent of the owners or in the case of a flagrante delicto.
(3) Secrecy of communications, particularly regarding postal, telegraphic, and telephone communication, is guaranteed, except for infractions by judicial order.
(4) The law shall limit the use of information, to guarantee personal and family honor, the privacy of citizens, and the full exercise of their rights.
Article 19 [Freedom to Move]
Spaniards have the right to freely select their residence and to travel in the national territory. They also have the right to enter and leave Spain freely under the conditions established by law. That right cannot be restricted because of political or ideological motives.
Article 20 [Specific Freedoms, Restrictions]
(1) The following rights are recognized and protected:
a) To express and disseminate thoughts freely through words, writing, or any other means of reproduction.
b) Literary, artistic, scientific, and technical production, and creation.
c) Academic freedom.
d) To communicate or receive freely truthful information through any means of dissemination. The law shall regulate the right to the protection of the clause on conscience and professional secrecy in the exercise of these freedoms.
(2) The exercise of these rights cannot be restricted through any type of prior censorship.
(3) The law shall regulate the organization and parliamentary control of the means of social communication owned by the State or any public entity and shall guarantee access to those means by significant social and political groups, respecting the pluralism of society and the various languages of Spain.
(4) These liberties find their limitation in the respect for the rights recognized in this Title, in the precepts of the laws which develop it and, especially, in the right to honor, privacy, personal identity, and protection of youth and childhood.
(5) The seizure of publications, recordings, or other means of information may only be determined by a judicial resolution.
Article 21 [Assembly]
(1) The right to peaceful, unarmed assembly is recognized. The exercise of this right does not require prior authorization.
(2) In the cases of meetings in places of public transit and of manifestations prior notification shall be given to the authorities, which can only forbid them when there are reasons based on disturbances of public order with danger for persons or property.
Article 22 [Association]
(1) The right to association is recognized.
(2) Associations which pursue purposes or use methods which are classified as crimes, are illegal.
(3) Associations constituted under the provisions of this article must register for purposes of public information only.
(4) Associations may only be dissolved or their activities suspended by virtue of a motivated judicial order.
(5) Secret and paramilitary associations are prohibited.
Article 23 [Participation, Election, Office]
(1) Citizens have the right to participate in public affairs, directly or through representatives freely elected in periodic elections by universal suffrage.
(2) They also have the right to accede, under conditions of equality, to public functions and positions, in accordance with the requirements established by law.
Article 24 [Legal Remedies]
(1) All persons have the right to the effective protection of the judges and courts in the exercise of their rights and legitimate interests, and in no case may there be a lack of defense.
(2) Likewise, all have the right to the ordinary judge predetermined by law, to defense and assistance of an attorney, to be informed of the accusation made against them, to a public trial without delays and with all the guarantees, to utilize the means of proof pertinent to their defense, to refrain from self-incrimination, to refrain from pleading guilty, and to the presumption of innocence.
The law shall regulate the cases in which for reasons of family relationship or professional secrecy it shall not be obligatory to make declarations concerning allegedly criminal actions.
Article 25 [Nulla Poena Sine Lege, Rights of Prisoners]
(1) No one may be convicted or sentenced for actions or omissions which when committed did not constitute a crime, misdemeanor, or administrative infringement as established by legislation in force at that moment.
(2) Prison sentences and security measures shall be oriented towards reeducation and social rehabilitation and may not consist of forced labor. The person sentenced to prison shall enjoy, during his imprisonment, the fundamental rights contained in this chapter, with the exception of those which are expressly restricted by the content of the prison sentence, the purpose of the sentence, and the penitentiary law. In any case, he shall have the right to remunerated work and the pertinent benefits of Social Security, as well as access to culture and the integral development of his personality.
(3) The Civil Administration may not impose sanctions which directly or indirectly imply deprivation of freedom.
Article 26 [No Courts of Honor]
Courts of Honor are prohibited within the framework of the Civil Administration or professional organizations.
Article 27 [Education]
(1) Everyone has the right to education. Freedom of instruction is recognized.
(2) The objective of education shall be the full development of the human personality in respect for the democratic principles of coexistence and the basic rights and liberties.
(3) The public authorities guarantee the right which will assist parents to have their children receive the religious and moral formation which is in keeping with their own convictions.
(4) Basic education is obligatory and free.
(5) The public authorities guarantee the right of all to education through a general educational program, with the effective participation of all the sectors affected, and the creation of educational centers.
(6) The freedom of physical and legal persons to create educational centers which respect constitutional principles, is recognized.
(7) Teachers, parents, and in some cases, the students, shall participate in the control and management of all centers maintained by the Administration with public funds, under the terms established by law.
(8) The public authorities shall inspect and standardize the educational system so as to guarantee compliance with the laws.
(9) The public authorities shall help the teaching centers which meet the requirements established by law.
(10) The autonomy of universities is recognized under the terms established by law.
Article 28 [Unions, Strikes]
(1) All have the right to unite freely. The law may limit or except from the exercise of this right the Armed Forces or Military Institutes, or the other Corps subject to military discipline and shall regulate the peculiarities of its exercise for political functionaries. Syndical liberty includes the right to found unions and to join the union of one’s choice, as well as the right of the unions to form confederations to found international union organizations or to join them. No one may be forced to join a union.
(2) The right of workers to strike in defense of their interests is recognized. The law which regulates the exercise of this right shall establish precise guarantees to insure the maintenance of essential services of the community.
Article 29 [Petition]
(1) All Spaniards shall have the right to personal and collective petition, in writing, in the form and with the effects the law shall define.
(2) Members of the Armed Forces, Institutes, or the Corps subject to military discipline, may exercise this right only individually and in accordance with the provisions of their specific legislation.
Section 2 Rights and Duties of Citizens
Article 30 [Military, Civilian, Emergency Duties]
(1) Citizens have the right and the duty to defend Spain.
(2) The law shall determine the military obligations of Spaniards and shall regulate, with all due guarantees, conscientious objection as well as other causes for exemption from compulsory military service, and it may, when appropriate, impose a substitute social service.
(3) A civilian service may be established for the accomplishment of objectives of general interest.
(4) The duties of citizens in cases of serious risk, catastrophe, or public calamity may be regulated by law.
Article 31 [Taxes]
(1) Everyone shall contribute to the sustenance of public expenditures according to their economic capacity through a just tax system based on the principles of equality and progressive taxation which in no case shall be of a confiscatory scope.
(2) Public expenditure shall realize an equitable allocation of public resources and its programming and execution shall be in keeping with criteria for efficiency and economy.
(3) Personal or property contributions of a public nature may only be made in accordance with the law.
Article 32 [Marriage, Matrimonial Equality]
(1) Man and woman have the right to contract matrimony with full legal equality6312.
(2) The law shall regulate the forms of matrimony, the age and capacity for concluding it, the rights and duties of the spouses, causes for separation and dissolution and their effects.
Article 33 [Property, Inheritance]
(1) The right to private property and inheritance is recognized.
(2) The social function of these rights shall determine the limits of their content in accordance with the law.
(3) No one may be deprived of his property and rights except for justified cause of public utility or social interest after proper indemnification in accordance with the provisions of law.
Article 34 [Foundations]
(1) The right to foundation for purposes of general interest is recognized in accordance with the law.
(2) The provisions of Article 22 (2) and (4) shall also be applicable to foundations.
Article 35 [Work]
(1) All Spaniards have the duty to work and the right to work, to the free election of profession or office career, to advancement through work, and to a sufficient remuneration to satisfy their needs and those of their family, while in no case can there be discrimination for reasons of sex.
(2) The law shall regulate a statute for workers.
Article 36 [Professional Colleges, Degrees]
The law shall regulate the peculiarities of the legal governance of the Professional Colleges and the exercise of professions requiring academic degrees. The internal structure and functioning of the Colleges must be democratic.
Article 37 [Labor Agreements, Labor Conflicts]
(1) The law shall guarantee the right to collective labor negotiations between the representatives of workers and employers, as well as the binding force of agreements.
(2) The right of the workers and employers to adopt measures concerning collective conflict is recognized. The law which shall regulate the exercise of this right, without prejudice to the limitations it may establish, shall include precise guarantees to insure the functioning of the essential services of the community.
Article 38 [Free Enterprise]
Free enterprise within the framework of a market economy is recognized. The public authorities guarantee and protect its exercise and the defense of productivity in accordance with the demands of the general economy, and as the case may be, in keeping with planning.
Chapter III Guiding Principles of Economic and Social Policy
Article 39 [Family, Children]
(1) The public authorities shall assure the social, economic, and legal protection of the family.
(2) The public authorities shall assure the complete protection of children, who are equal before the law regardless of their parentage and regardless of the marital status of their mothers. The law shall make it possible to investigate paternity.
(3) Parents must provide their children, born in or out of wedlock, with assistance of every kind during the time they are minors and in other cases where it is legally proper.
(4) Children shall enjoy the protection provided in international agreements which safeguard their rights.
Article 40 [Economic Policies, Worker Protection]
(1) The public authorities shall promote favorable conditions for social and economic progress and for a more equitable distribution of regional and personal income within the framework of a policy of economic stability. Special emphasis will be placed on the realization of a policy aimed at full employment.
(2) Likewise, the public authorities shall promote a policy which guarantees professional training and readaptation, insures work safety and hygiene, and guarantees necessary rest through limitations on the length of the work day, paid periodic vacations, and the promotion of suitable centers.
Article 41 [Social Security, Unemployment Benefits]
The public authorities shall maintain a public system of social security for all citizens which will guarantee social assistance and services which are sufficient in cases of need, especially in cases of unemployment. Complementary assistance and services shall be free.
Article 42 [Workers Abroad]
The state shall especially try to safeguard the economic and social rights of Spanish workers abroad and orient its policy toward their return.
Article 43 [Health Protection, Sports, Leisure]
(1) The right to health protection is recognized.
(2) It is incumbent upon the public authorities to organize and watch over public health and hygiene through preventive measures and through necessary care and services. The law shall establish the rights and duties of all in this respect.
(3) The public authorities shall foster health education, physical education, and sports. Likewise, they shall facilitate adequate utilization of leisure.
Article 44 [Culture, Science]
(1) The public authorities shall promote and watch over access to culture, to which all have a right.
(2) The public authorities shall promote science and scientific and technical research for the benefit of the general interest.
Article 45 [Environment]
(1) Everyone has the right to enjoy an environment suitable for the development of the person as well as the duty to preserve it.
(2) The public authorities shall concern themselves with the rational use of all natural resources for the purpose of protecting and improving the quality of life and protecting and restoring the environment, supporting themselves on an indispensable collective solidarity.
(3) For those who violate the provisions of the foregoing paragraph, penal or administrative sanctions, as applicable, shall be established and they shall be obliged to repair the damage caused.
Article 46 [National Heritage]
The public authorities shall guarantee the preservation, and promote the enrichment, of the historical, cultural, and artistic heritage of the peoples of Spain and the property that makes them up, regardless of their legal status and their ownership. The penal law shall punish any offenses against this heritage.
Article 47 [Housing]
All Spaniards have the right to enjoy decent and adequate housing. The public authorities shall promote the conditions necessary and establish the pertinent norms to make this right effective, regulating the use of land in accordance with the general interest to prevent speculation.
The community shall share in the increased values generated by urban activities of public bodies.
Article 48 [Participation of Youths]
The public authorities shall promote the conditions for the free and effective participation by the young in political, social, economic and cultural development.
Article 49 [Handicapped]
The public authorities shall implement a policy of prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, and integration of those who are physically, sensorially, or mentally handicapped, who shall be given the special attention which they require and be afforded special protection for the enjoyment of the rights which this Title grants to all citizens.
Article 50 [Old People, Pensions, Social Services]
To citizens in old age, the public authorities shall guarantee economic sufficiency through adequate and periodically updated pensions. Likewise, and independently of the family obligations, they shall promote their welfare through a system of social services which shall take care of their specific problems of health, housing, culture, and leisure.
Article 51 [Consumer Protection]
(1) The public authorities shall guarantee the defense of the consumers and users, protecting their safety, health, and legitimate economic interests through effective procedures.
(2) The public authorities shall promote the information and education of consumers and users, foster their organizations, and hear them in those questions which could affect them under the terms which the law shall establish.
(3) Within the framework of the provisions of the foregoing paragraphs, the law shall regulate domestic commerce and the system of licensing commercial products.
Article 52 [Professional Organizations]
The law shall regulate the professional organizations which contribute to the defense of their own economic interests. Their internal structure and operation must be democratic.
Chapter IV Guarantees and Fundamental Rights
Article 53 [Regulation, Judicial Protection]
(1) The rights and liberties recognized in the second chapter of the present Title are binding on all public authorities. Only by law, which in every case must respect their essential content, could the exercise of such rights and liberties be regulated, and they shall be protected in accordance with the provisions of Article 161 (1) b).
(2) Any citizen may make a claim to the liberties and rights recognized in Article 13 and the first Section of the Second Chapter before the regular courts through a process based on the principles of preference and speed and through the recourse before the Constitutional Court. This last recourse shall be applicable to objections of conscience recognized in Article 30.
(3) Recognition, respect, and protection of the principles recognized in the Third Chapter shall guide positive legislation, judicial practice and the actions by public authorities. They may also be argued before ordinary jurisdiction through procedures established in the laws affecting them.
Article 54 [High Commissioner, Parliament]
An organic law shall regulate the institution of the Defender of the People as the High Commissioner of the Parliament, appointed for the protection of the rights contained in this Title, for which purpose he may supervise the activity of the administration, informing the Parliament of it.
Chapter V Suspension of Rights and Liberties
Article 55 [Emergency, Siege, Terrorism]
(1) The rights recognized in Articles 17, 18 (2) and (3), 19, 20 (1)(a) and (d) and (5), 21, 28 (2), and Article 37 (2) may be suspended when a state of emergency or siege is declared under the terms provided in the Constitution. Article 17 (3) is exempted from that which was established previously in the event of the declaration of a state of emergency.
(2) An organic law may determine the manner and the cases in which, in an individual manner and with the necessary judicial intervention and adequate parliamentary control, the rights recognized in Article 17 (2) and 18 (2) and (3) may be suspended for certain persons with respect to investigations having to do with the activities of armed bands or terrorist elements.
The unwarranted or abusive utilization of the powers recognized in said organic law will result in criminal responsibility as a violation of the rights and liberties recognized by the laws.
Title II The Crown
Article 56 [Head of State]
(1) The King is the Head of State, the symbol of its unity and permanence. He arbitrates and moderates the regular functioning of the institutions, assumes the highest representation of the Spanish State in international relations, especially with the nations of its historical community, and exercises the functions expressly attributed to him by the Constitution and the laws.
(2) His title is that of “King of Spain” and he may use the others which belong to the Crown.
(3) The person of the King is inviolable and is not subject to responsibility. His acts shall always be in the manner established in Article 64 and shall lack validity without that countersignature, except as provided for by Article 65 (2).
Article 57 [Succession]
(1) The Crown of Spain is hereditary for the successors of H.M. Don Juan Carlos I of Borbon, legitimate heir of the historic dynasty. Succession to the throne will follow the regular order of primogeniture and representation, the first line always having preference over subsequent lines; within the same line, the closer grade over the more remote; in the same grade, the male over the female; and in the same sex, the elder over the younger.
(2) The hereditary Prince, from his birth or from the time he acquires the claim, will have the title of Prince of Asturias and the other titles traditionally linked to the successor to the Crown of Spain.
(3) If all the lines entitled by law become extinct, the Parliament shall provide for the succession to the crown in the manner which is best for the interests of Spain.
(4) Those persons, who having the right to succession to the throne, contract matrimony against the express prohibition by the King and the Parliament, shall be excluded, along with their descendants, from succession to the Crown.
(5) Abdications and renunciations and any doubt in fact or in law which may occur in the order of succession to the Crown, shall be resolved by an organic law.
Article 58 [Queen Consort]
The Queen consort or the consort of the Queen may not assume constitutional functions except as provided for by the Regency.
Article 59 [Minority, Incapacity]
(1) When the King is a minor, the King’s father or mother, in their absence the oldest relative closest to succession to the Crown pursuant to the order established by the Constitution, shall immediately exercise the Regency during the King’s minority.
(2) If the King becomes incapable of exercising his authority and this incapacity is recognized by the Parliament, the Prince heir to the Crown shall immediately begin to exercise the Regency if he is of age. If he is not, the procedure outlined in the previous paragraph will be adhered to until the Prince heir reaches adulthood.
(3) If there is no person who can exercise the Regency, it shall be appointed by the Parliament and shall be composed of one, three, or five persons.
(4) In order to exercise the Regency, it is necessary to be Spanish and of age.
(5) The Regency shall be exercised through constitutional mandate and always in the name of the King.
Article 60 [Tutor]
(1) The tutor of the King who is a minor shall be the person named in the will by the deceased King provided that he is an adult and a Spaniard by birth. If he is not named, the father or the mother shall be the tutor as long as they remain widowed. In their absence, the Parliament shall appoint someone, but the positions of Regent and tutor may not be held by the same person except in the case of the father, mother, or direct ascendents of the King.
(2) The exercise of the tutorship is also incompatible with the exercise of any office of political representation.
Article 61 [Oath]
(1) The King, on being proclaimed before the Parliament, will swear to faithfully carry out his functions, to obey the Constitution and the laws and ensure that they are obeyed, and to respect the rights of citizens and the Autonomous Communities.
(2) The Prince heir, when coming of age, and the Regent or Regents when they assume their functions, will swear the same oath as well as that of loyalty to the King.
Article 62 [Competences]
It is incumbent upon the King:
a) to approve and promulgate laws;
b) to convoke and dissolve the Parliament and to call elections under the terms provided for in the Constitution;
c) to convoke a referendum in the cases provided for in the Constitution;
d) to propose the candidate for the President of the Government and to appoint him, or when required, to terminate his functions under the terms provided in the Constitution;
e) to appoint and dismiss the members of the Government at the proposal of its President;
f) to issue the decrees approved in the Council of Ministers, confer civilian and military positions, and award honors and distinctions in accordance with the law;
g) to be informed of the affairs of state and for this purpose preside over the sessions of the Council of Ministers when he deems it appropriate at the request of the President of the Government;
h) to exercise supreme command of the Armed Forces;
i) to exercise the right of clemency pursuant to a law, which cannot authorize general pardons;
j) to be the High Patron of the Royal Academies.
Article 63 [Foreign Relations, Treaties, War]
(1) The King accredits ambassadors and other diplomatic representatives. Foreign representatives in Spain are accredited before him.
(2) It is incumbent on the King to express the consent of the State to obligate itself internationally through treaties in conformity with the Constitution and the laws.
(3) It is incumbent on the King, after authorization by the Parliament, to declare war and make peace.
Article 64 [Countersignature]
(1) The actions of the King shall be countersigned by the President of the Government and, when appropriate, by the competent ministers. The nomination and appointment of the President of the Government and the dissolution provided for in Article 93 shall be countersigned by the President of the House of Representatives.
(2) The persons who countersign the acts of the King shall be responsible for them.
Article 65 [Remuneration]
(1) The King receives an overall amount from the State budget for the maintenance of his Family and Household and disposes it freely.
(2) The King freely appoints and relieves the civilian and military members of his Household.
Title III Parliament
Chapter I Chambers
Article 66 [Structure, Competences, Inviolability]
(1) The Parliament represents the Spanish people and is formed by the House of Representatives and the Senate.
(2) The Parliament exercises the legislative power of the State, approves its budgets, controls the action of the Government, and has the other competences assigned by the Constitution.
(3) The Parliament is inviolable.
Article 67 [Incompatibility, Free Mandate]
(1) No one may be a member of the two Chambers simultaneously nor be a member of an Autonomous Community Assembly and a Deputy to the House of Representatives at the same time.
(2) The members of the Parliament are not bound by an imperative mandate.
(3) The meetings of parliamentarians, which are held without the regulatory convocation, shall not be binding on the Chambers and they may not exercise their functions nor exercise their privileges.
Article 68 [Election]
(1) The House of Representatives is composed of a minimum of 300 and a maximum of 400 Deputies elected by universal, free, equal, direct, and secret suffrage under the terms established by law.
(2) The electoral district is the province. The cities of Ceuta and Melilla shall be represented by one deputy each. The law shall distribute the total number of deputies, assigning a minimum initial representation to each district and distributing the remainder in proportion to the population.
(3) The election in each district shall be conducted in keeping with the criteria of proportional representation.
(4) The House of Representatives is elected for four years. The term of deputies ends four years after their election or on the day of the dissolution of the Chamber.
(5) All Spaniards who have full use of their political rights are voters and eligible for office.
The law recognizes, and the State shall facilitate, the exercise of the right to vote of Spaniards who are outside the territory of Spain.
(6) Elections will take place between thirty and sixty days after the termination of the mandate. The elected House of Representatives must be convoked within twenty-five days after the holding of elections.
Article 69 [Senate]
(1) The Senate is the chamber of territorial representation.
(2) In each province, four senators will be elected by universal, free, equal, direct, and secret suffrage by the voters of each of them under the terms established by an organic law.
(3) In the island provinces, each island or grouping of them with a representation or insular council shall be a voting district for the purposes of the election of senators, three of them going to each of the major islands – Grand Canary, Mallorca, and Tenerife – and one each to the following islands or groupings: Ibiza-Formentera, Menorca, Fuerteventura, Gomera, Hierro, Lanzarote, and La Palma.
(4) The cities of Ceuta and Melilla shall elect two senators each.
(5) The Autonomous Communities shall also designate one senator and one additional senator for each million inhabitants in their respective territories. The designation shall be made by the legislative assembly, or in its absence, by the higher collective body of the Autonomous Community pursuant to the provisions of the Statutes, which in any case, shall insure adequate proportional representation.
(6) The Senate is elected for four years. The term of the senators shall end four years after their election or on the day of the dissolution of the Chamber.
Article 70 [Ineligibility, Incompatibility]
(1) The electoral law shall determine the reasons for ineligibility and incompatibility of Deputies and Senators, which shall include in any case:
a) the members of the Constitutional Court;
b) the high officers of the State Administration, as determined by law, with the exception of the members of the Government;
c) the Defender of the People;
d) the Magistrates, Judges, and Prosecutors on active duty;
e) the professional military and members of the Armed Forces, Corps of Security, and Police on active duty; and
f) the members of the Electoral Commissions.
(2) The validity of the records and credentials of the members of both Chambers shall be subject to judicial control under the terms to be established by the electoral law.
Article 71 [Indemnity, Immunity, Remuneration]
(1) The Deputies and Senators enjoy indemnity for the opinions expressed during the exercise of their functions.
(2) During the period of their mandate, the Deputies and Senators enjoy immunity and may only be arrested in case of flagrante delicto. They may not be indicted or tried without prior authorization of the respective Chamber.
(3) In actions against Deputies and Senators, the Criminal Section of the Supreme Court shall be competent.
(4) The Deputies and Senators shall receive a remuneration which shall be fixed by the respective Chamber.
Article 72 [Self-Organization]
(1) The Chambers establish their own regulations, autonomously approve their own budgets, and by common accord regulate the Personnel Statute of the Parliament. The Regulations and their reform shall be submitted to a final voting in their entirety which shall require an absolute majority.
(2) The Chambers elect their respective Presidents and the other members of their committees. Joint sessions shall be presided over by the President of the House of Representatives and shall be governed by a Regulation of the Parliament approved by an absolute majority of each Chamber.
(3) The Presidents of the Chambers will exercise in their name all administrative powers and police authority in the interior of their respective Chambers.
Article 73 [Sessions]
(1) The Chambers shall meet annually in two ordinary periods of sessions, the first from September to December and the second from February to June.
(2) The Chambers may meet in extraordinary periods of sessions at the request of the Government, the Permanent Deputation, or by the absolute majority of the members of either of the two Chambers. The extraordinary periods of sessions must be convoked with a specific agenda and shall be closed once it has been dealt with.
Article 74 [Majority]
(1) The Chambers shall meet in joint sessions to exercise the non-legislative competences which Title II expressly authorizes for the Parliament.
(2) The decisions of the Parliament specified in Articles 94 (1), 145 (2), and 158 (2) shall be adopted by the majority of each of the Chambers. In the first case, the procedure shall be initiated by the House of Representatives, in the other two cases by the Senate. In both cases, if there is no agreement between Senate and the House of Representatives, an attempt will be made to obtain it by a mixed Commission composed of an equal number of Deputies and Senators. The Commission presents a text which shall be voted upon by both Chambers. If it is not approved in the established form, the House of Representatives shall decide by an absolute majority.
Article 75 [Responsibilities]
(1) The Chambers shall work in plenary sessions and in Commissions.
(2) The Chambers may delegate to the Permanent Legislative Commissions the approval of bills or proposals of law. The plenary session, however, may at any time require debate and voting on any bill or proposal of law which has been the object of this delegation.
(3) Excluded from the provisions of the foregoing paragraph are constitutional reform, international affairs, organic and basic laws, and the General Budget.
Article 76 [Investigating Commissions]
(1) The House of Representatives and the Senate, and if necessary both Chambers jointly, may appoint investigating Commissions on any subject of public interest. Their conclusions shall not be binding on the courts nor will they affect judicial decisions, but they may be transmitted to the Public Prosecutor for the exercise of the necessary actions when required.
(2) Appearance before the Chambers on request shall be obligatory. The law shall regulate the sanctions which may be imposed for noncompliance with this obligation.
Article 77 [Petitions]
(1) The Chambers may receive individual and collective petitions, always in writing, while direct presentation by citizens is prohibited.
(2) The Chambers may forward to the Government the petitions they receive. The Government is obliged to explain itself on the contents whenever the Chambers so request.
Article 78 [Permanent Deputations]
(1) In each Chamber, there shall be a Permanent Deputation composed of a minimum of twenty-on members who shall represent the parliamentary groups in proportion to their numerical importance.
(2) The Permanent Deputations shall be presided over by the President of the respective Chamber, they shall have those functions listed in Article 73, they shall assume the authority of the Chambers according to Articles 86 and 116 in the case that the Chambers have been dissolved or their term expired, and they shall maintain a watch over the powers of the Chambers when they are not in session.
(3) On the expiration of the mandate or in case of dissolution, the Permanent Deputations shall continue to exercise its functions until the constitution of new Parliament.
(4) When a Chamber meets, its Permanent Deputation shall give an account of the matters dealt with and of its decisions.
Article 79 [Presence, Quorum, Personal Vote]
(1) In order to adopt agreements, the Chambers must be in a regular session with the attendance of the majority of their members.
(2) In order to be valid, such agreements must be approved by the majority of the members present, without prejudice to the special majorities which may be established by the Constitution or the organic laws or the Regulations established by the Chambers for the election of persons.
(3) The vote of the Senators and Deputies is personal and cannot be delegated.
Article 80 [Publicity]
The plenary sessions of the Chambers shall be public except when there is an agreement against it in each Chamber, an agreement which must be arrived at by an absolute majority or by a change in the Regulations.
Chapter II Preparation of Laws
Article 81 [Organic Laws]
(1) Organic laws are those relative to the exercise of fundamental rights and public liberties, those approved by the Statutes of Autonomy and the general electoral system, and the others provided for in the Constitution.
(2) The approval, modification, or repeal of organic laws shall require an absolute majority of the House of Representatives in a final vote on the entire bill.
Article 82 [Delegation]
(1) The Parliament may delegate to the Government the power to set norms with the status law on specific matters not included in the previous article.
(2) Legislative delegation must be granted by means of a basic law when its objective is the formation of articled texts, or by an ordinary law when it is a matter of arranging several legaltexts into a single one.
(3) Legislative delegation must be granted to the Government in an express form for a concrete matter and with the establishment of a period for its exercise. The delegation becomes void when the Government has made use of it after the publication of the corresponding law. Such delegation cannot be understood to be granted implicitly or for an indefinite period. The sub-delegation to different authorities, even within the Government itself, is not permitted.
(4) The basic laws shall precisely limit the object and scope of legislative delegation and the principles and criteria which must be followed in its exercise.
(5) Authorization for the consolidation of legal texts shall define the normative scope to which the content of the delegation referred, specifying whether it shall be limited to the mere formulation into a unified text or whether it includes regulation, clarification, and harmonization of the legal texts which are to be recast.
(6) Without prejudice to the proper competence of the Courts, the laws on delegation may establish additional formulas for control in each case.
Article 83 [Prohibited Laws]
Basic laws may in no case do the following:
a) Authorize the modification of the basic laws;
b) Make provision for the enactment of norms with retroactive character.
Article 84 [Delegation Conflict]
When a proposed law or an amendment is contrary to a valid legislative delegation, the Government may oppose its processing. In such a case, a law proposal may be presented for the total or partial abolishment of the law on delegation.
Article 85 [Legislative Decrees]
The dispositions of the Government containing delegated legislation shall receive the title of Legislative Decrees.
Article 86 [Decree-Laws]
(1) In the case of extraordinary and urgent necessity, the Government may issue provisional legislative decisions which shall take the form of decree-laws and which may not affect the regulation of the basic institution of the State, the rights, duties, and liberties of the citizens which are regulated in Title I, the systems of Autonomous Communities, or the general electoral Law.
(2) The Decree-laws must be immediately submitted for debate and voting by the entire House of Representatives of Deputies convoked for that purpose, if it is not already in session, within a period of thirty days after their promulgation. The House of Representatives must expressly declare within that period its approval or repeal, for which purpose the Regulation shall establish a special and summary procedure.
(3) During the period established in the foregoing paragraph, the Parliament may treat them as draft laws by emergency procedure.
Article 87 [Initiative, Proposal, Public Initiative]
(1) Legislative initiative belongs to the Government, the House of Representatives, and the Senate, according to the Constitution and the regulations of the Chambers.
(2) The Assemblies of the Autonomous Communities may request the Government to adopt a bill or send to the Board of the House of Representatives a proposal of law, delegating a maximum of three members of their Assembly to that Chamber to defend it.
(3) An organic law shall regulate the forms and requirements for the exercise of the popular initiative for the presentation of proposals of law. In any case no fewer than 500,000 valid signatures will be required. This initiative is not applicable to organic laws, taxation, or international affairs, nor to the prerogative of pardon.
Article 88 [Approval of Bills]
Bills shall be approved in the Council of Ministers, which shall submit them to the House of Representatives accompanied by an exposition of the motives and the antecedents which are necessary for action.
Article 89 [Processing Proposals]
(1) The processing of proposals of law shall be regulated by the Regulations of the Chambers without the priority due to bills impeding the exercise of legislative initiative under the terms regulated by Article 87.
(2) Proposals of law, which in accordance with Article 87 are taken under consideration by the Senate, shall be sent to the House of Representatives for processing as such.
Article 90 [Veto and Amendment of Bills]
(1) Once an ordinary or organic bill has been approved by the Deputies of the House of Representatives, its President shall immediately notify the President of the Senate, who shall submit it for its deliberation.
(2) The Senate, within a period of two months after the day of the receipt of the text, may, through a message explaining the reasons, veto it or introduce amendments to it. The veto must be approved by an absolute majority. The bill cannot be submitted to the King for approval unless the House of Representatives ratifies the initial text, in the case of a veto by an absolute majority, or by a simple majority once two months have passed since the presentation of the text, or express itself on the amendments, stating whether or not it accepts them by a simple majority.
(3) The period of two months which the Senate has to veto or amend the bill shall be reduced to twenty calendar days for those bills declared urgent by the Government or by the House of Representatives.
Article 91 [Promulgation]
The King shall sanction the laws approved by the Parliament within the period of fifteen days and shall promulgate them and order their immediate publication.
Article 92 [Consultative Referendum]
(1) Political decisions of special importance may be submitted for a consultative referendum of all the citizens.
(2) The referendum shall be convoked by the King at the proposal of the President of the Government after previous authorization by the House of Representatives.
(3) An organic law shall regulate the conditions and the procedure of the different kinds of referendums provided for in this Constitution.
Chapter III International Treaties
Article 93 [Transfer of Sovereignty]
By means of an organic law, authorization may be established for the conclusion of treaties which attribute to an international organization or institution the exercise of competences derived from the Constitution. It is the responsibility of the Parliament or the Government, depending on the cases, to guarantee compliance with these treaties and the resolutions emanating from the international or supranational organizations who have been entitled by this cession.
Article 94 [Prior Authorization]
(1) The giving of the consent of the State to obligate itself to something by means of treaties or agreements shall require prior authorization of the Parliament in the following cases:
a) Treaties of a political nature;
b) Treaties or agreements of a military nature;
c) Treaties or agreements which affect the territorial integrity of the State or the fundamental rights and duties established in Title I;
d) Treaties or agreements which imply important obligations for the public treasury;
e) Treaties or agreements which involve modification or repeal of some law or require legislative measures for their execution.
(2) The House of Representatives and the Senate shall be immediately informed of the conclusion of the treaties or agreements.
Article 95 [Conflict With Constitution]
(1) The conclusion of an international treaty which contains stipulations contrary to the Constitution shall require a prior constitutional revision.
(2) The Government or either of the Chambers may request the Constitutional Court to declare whether or not such a contradiction exists.
Article 96 [Amendment, Abolishment]
(1) Validly concluded international treaties once officially published in Spain shall constitute part of the internal legal order. Their provisions may only be abolished, modified, or suspended in the manner provided for in the treaties themselves or in accordance with general norms of international law.
(2) To denounce international treaties and agreements, the same procedure established for their approval in Article 94 shall be used.
Title IV Government and Administration
Article 97 [Directing Policy]
The Government directs domestic and foreign policy, civil and military Administration, and the defense of the State. It exercises the executive function and regulatory power in accordance with the Constitution and the laws.
Article 98 [Composition, President, Incompatibilities]
(1) The Government is composed of the President, Vice Presidents, and in some cases the ministers and other members the law may establish.
(2) The President directs the actions of the Government and coordinates the functions of the other members of it without prejudice to their competence and direct responsibility in their activity.
(3) The members of the Government may not exercise representative functions other than those of the parliamentary mandate itself, nor any other public function which does not derive from their office, nor any professional or mercantile activity whatsoever.
(4) A law shall regulate the Statute and the incompatibilities of the members of the Government.
Article 99 [Election]
(1) After each renewal of the House of Representatives and in the other cases provided for by the Constitution, the King shall, after consultation with the representatives designated by the political groups represented in parliament, and through the President of the House of Representatives, propose a candidate for the Presidency of the Government.
(2) The proposed candidate, in conformity with the provisions of the foregoing paragraph, shall submit to the House of Representatives the political program of the Government he intends to form and shall seek the confidence of the Chamber.
(3) If the House of Representatives, by an absolute majority of its members, grants its confidence to said candidate, the King will appoint him President. If said majority is not obtained, the same proposal shall be submitted to a new vote 98 hours after the former, and confidence shall be understood to have been granted if a simple majority is obtained.
(4) If after the aforementioned votes are cast, confidence is not granted for investiture, successive proposals will be made in the manner foreseen in the foregoing paragraphs.
(5) If within two months from the first voting for investiture no candidate has obtained the confidence of the House of Representatives, the King shall dissolve both Chambers and call for new elections with the concurrence of the President of the House of Representatives.
The other members of the Government shall be appointed and dismissed by the King at the proposal of its President.
Article 101 [Resignation]
(1) The Government shall resign after the holding of general elections in the cases of the loss of confidence by parliament as stipulated in the Constitution, or because of the resignation or death of its President.
(2) But the outgoing Government shall continue in its functions until the new Government takes office.
Article 102 [Criminal Responsibility]
(1) The Criminal Division of the Supreme Court shall have jurisdiction in the cases of criminal responsibility of the President and the other members of the Government.
(2) If the charge were treason or any crime against the security of the State in the exercise of their functions, it could only be brought against them through the initiative of one-fourth of the members of the House of Representatives and with the approval of the absolute majority thereof.
(3) The royal prerogative of pardon shall not be applicable to any of the provisions of the present article.
Article 103 [Public Administration]
(1) The Public Administration serves the general interest with objectivity and it acts in accordance with the principles of efficacy, hierarchy, decentralization, deconcentration, and coordination while fully complying with the law and legality.
(2) The organs of the Administration of the State are created, governed, and coordinated in accordance with the law.
(3) The law shall regulate the statute of the public officials, the access to civil service in accordance with the principles of merit and ability, the system under which they exercise their right to form unions, the system of incompatibilities, and the safeguards for political impartiality in the exercise of their functions.
Article 104 [Security Forces and Corps]
(1) The Security Forces and Corps which are instruments of the Government shall have the mission of protecting the free exercise of rights and liberties and that of guaranteeing the security of the citizens.
(2) An organic law shall determine the functions, basic principles of action, and the Statues of the Security Forces and Corps.
Article 105 [Guarantees]
The law shall regulate:
a) The hearing of citizens, directly or through the organizations and associations recognized by the law, in the process of elaborating the administrative decisions which affect them;
b) access by the citizens to the administrative archives and registers except where it affects the security and defense of the State, the investigation of crimes, and the privacy of persons; and
c) the procedure for administrative actions and for guaranteeing when appropriate the hearing of interested persons.
Article 106 [Control, Indemnification]
(1) The Courts control the regulatory power and the legality of administrative acts as well as its compliance with the objectives which justify it.
(2) Private individuals, under the terms established by the law, shall have the right to be indemnified for any harm they suffer in any of their property and rights, except in the cases of force majeure, whenever such harm is the result of the functioning of the public services.
Article 107 [Council of State]
The Council of State is the supreme consultative body of the Government. An organic law shall regulate its composition and competence.
Title V Government and Parliament
Article 108 [Responsibility]
The Government in its political conduct is collectively accountable before the House of Representatives.
Article 109 [Information, Assistance]
The Chambers and their Commissions may request, through their Presidents, the information and assistance they need from the Government and its Departments and from any authority of the State and the Autonomous Communities.
Article 110 [Presence]
(1) The Chambers and their Commissions may require the presence of the members of the Government.
(2) The members of the Government are entitled to have access to the sessions of the Chambers and to their Commissions and are entitled to be heard in them, and they may request that officials of their departments present information to them.
Article 111 [Interpellation]
(1) The Government and each of its members are subject to interpellations or questions put to them in the Chambers. The rules shall establish a weekly minimum time for this type of debate.
(2) Any interpellation may lead to a motion in which the Chamber can express its position.
Article 112 [Vote of Confidence]
The President of the Government, after deliberation by the Council of Ministers, may pose before the House of Representatives the question of confidence on his program or on a declaration of general policy. Confidence shall be taken as granted when the absolute majority of the deputies vote for it.
Article 113 [Motion of Censure, Vote of No-Confidence]
(1) The House of Representatives may require political responsibility from the Government by means of the adoption by an absolute majority of a motion of censure.
(2) The motion of censure must be proposed by at least one-tenth of the Deputies and must include a candidate to the office of the Presidency of the Government.
(3) The motion of censure cannot be voted on until five days after its presentation. During the first two days of this period, alternative motions may be presented.
(4) If the motion of censure is not approved by the House of Representatives, its signers cannot present another during the same period of sessions.
Article 114 [Resignation, New Appointment]
(1) If the House of Representatives denies its confidence to the Government, it must present its resignation to the King, the President of the Government then to be designated pursuant to the provisions of Article 99.
(2) If the House of Representatives adopts a motion of censure, the Government shall present its resignation to the King and the candidate included in it shall be understood to have the confidence of the Chamber for the purposes specified in Article 92. The King shall appoint him President of the Government.
Article 115 [Dissolution of Parliament]
(1) The President of the Government, after deliberation of the Council of Ministers, and on his exclusive responsibility, may propose the dissolution of the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the Parliament, which shall be decreed by the King. The dissolution decree shall establish the date of the elections.
(2) The proposal for dissolution may not be presented when a motion of censure is in process.
(3) No new dissolution may take place before a year has passed since the previous one, except as provided for in Article 99 (5).
Article 116 [Alarm, Emergency, Siege]
(1) An organic law shall regulate the states of alarm, emergency, and siege and the corresponding competences and limitations.
(2) The state of alarm shall be declared by the Government, by means of a decree agreed upon by the Council of Ministers, for a maximum period of fifteen days informing the House of Representatives, which has convened immediately for that purpose and without whose authorization the period cannot be extended. The decree shall determine the territorial area to which the effects of the declaration shall be excluded.
(3) The state of emergency shall be declared by the Government by means of a Decree agreed upon in the Council of Ministers after authorization by the House of Representatives. The authorization and proclamation of a state of emergency must expressly determine its purposes, the territorial area to which it is extended and its duration, which cannot exceed thirty days but which may be extended for a like period with the same requirements.
(4) The state of siege shall be declared by the absolute majority of the House of Representatives at the exclusive proposal by the Government. The House of Representatives shall determine its territorial scope, duration, and conditions.
(5) The House of Representatives may not be dissolved while any of the states contained in the present article are in effect, the Chambers being automatically convoked if they are not in a period of sessions. Their functioning, like that of the other constitutional powers of the State, may not be interrupted during the effectiveness of these states.
In the event that the House of Representatives has beendissolved or its mandate has expired if one of the situations exists which leads to one of the aforementioned states, the competences of the House of Representatives shall be assumed by its Permanent Deputation.
(6) The declaration of the states of alarm, emergency, and siege shall not modify the principle of the responsibility of the Government or its agents as recognized in the Constitution and in the laws.
Title VI Judicial Power
Article 117 [Independence, Courts, Tribunals]
(1) Justice emanates from the people and is administered in the name of the King by Judges and Magistrates who are members of the judicial power and are independent5421, irremovable, responsible, and subject only to the rule of the law.
(2) The Judges and Magistrates cannot be separated, suspended, transferred, or retired except for causes and with the guarantees provided for in the law.
(3) The exercise of jurisdictional power in any type of processes passing judgments and having judgments executed belongs exclusively to the Courts541 and Tribunals as determined by the laws, according to the norms on the competence and procedure which they establish.
(4) The Courts and Tribunals shall not exercise any functions other than those set forth in the previous paragraph and those expressly attributed to them by law to guarantee any right.
(5) The principle of jurisdictional unity is the basis of the organization and operation of the Tribunals. The law shall regulate the exercise of the military jurisdiction within a strictly military framework and in the event of a state of siege, in accordance with the principles of the Constitution.
(6) Exceptional Tribunals are prohibited.
Article 118 [Powers]
It is obligatory to comply with the firm sentences and other resolutions of the Judges and the Tribunals, as well as to provide the collaboration required by them during the course of the process and in the execution of the judgment.
Article 119 [Charges]
Justice shall be free of charge when the law so provides and in any case for those who have insufficient means to litigate.
Article 120 [Publicity, Oral Proceedings]
(1) Judicial proceedings shall be public, with the exceptions provided for by the laws on procedure.
(2) The procedure shall be predominantly oral, particularly in criminal matters.
(3) The sentences shall always be motivated and shall be pronounced in public audience.
Article 121 [Indemnification]
Damages caused by judicial error and those which may result from the abnormal operation of the Administration of Justice shall provide the right to an indemnification by the State, in accordance with the law.
Article 122 [Organization, General Council]
(1) The organic law on judicial power shall determine the structure, operation, and administration of the Courts and Tribunals, as well as the legal status of Judges and Magistrates, who form a single body, and of the personnel at the service of the Administration of Justice.
(2) The General Council of the Judicial Power is the governing organ of the latter. The organic law shall establish its statuteand the system of incompatibilities for its members and their functions, particularly in matters of appointments, promotions, inspections, and disciplinary regime.
(3) The General Council of the Judicial Power shall consist of the President of the Supreme Court, who shall preside, and twenty members appointed by the King for a period of five years. Of these, twelve shall be Judges and Magistrates of all the judicial categories under the terms the organic law establishes; four will be proposed by the House of Representatives; and four by the Senate, elected in both cases by three-fifths majority of their members, from among lawyers and jurists of recognized competence with more than fifteen years in the exercise of their profession.
Article 123 [Supreme Court]
(1) The Supreme Court, with jurisdiction all over Spain, is the highest jurisdictional organ in all orders, except in matters concerning constitutional guarantees.
(2) The President of the Supreme Court shall be appointed by the King at the proposal of the General Council of the judicial branch in the manner determined by law.
Article 124 [Public Prosecutor]
(1) The Office of the Public Prosecutor, without prejudice to the functions entrusted to other organs, has the mission of promoting the action of justice in defense of legality, the rights of citizens and the public interest guarded by the law, ex officio or on petition by interested parties, as well as watch over the independence of the Courts and to procure before them the satisfaction of social interest.
(2) The Public Prosecutor exercises its functions by means of its own organs in conformity with the principles of unity of action and hierarchical dependency, subject in all cases to the principles of legality and impartiality.
(3) The law shall regulate the organic statute of the Public Prosecutor.
(4) The Public Prosecutor of the State shall be appointed by the King at the proposal of the Government after consultation with the General Council of the Judicial Power.
Article 125 [Popular Action, Juries]
Citizens may exercise popular action and participate in the Administration of Justice through the institution of the Jury in the manner that the law may determine for certain criminal trials, as well as in the customary and traditional Courts.
Article 126 [Judicial Police]
The judicial police come under the Judges, the Courts, and the Public Prosecutor in their functions of investigating crimes and finding and seizing the criminal under the terms the law may establish.
(1) The Judges and Magistrates, as well as the prosecutors, while on active service, may not hold other public positions or belong to political parties or unions. The law shall establish the system and modalities of professional association of Judges, Magistrates, and Prosecutors.
(2) The law shall establish the system of incompatibilities of the members of the judicial power which must insure their total independence.
Title VII Economy and Finance
Article 128 [Public Wealth, State Intervention]
(1) All the wealth of the country in its distinct forms regardless of its ownership is subordinated to the general interest.
(2) Public initiative in economic activity is recognized. By law, essential resources or services, particularly in the case of monopoly, can be reserved for the public sector and it may also declare the intervention in companies when the general interest so requires.
Article 129 [Participation, Cooperatives]
(1) The law shall establish the forms of participation of those interested in Social Security and in the activities of the public agencies whose function directly affects the quality of life or general welfare.
(2) The public authorities shall effectively promote the various forms of participation in enterprise and facilitate cooperative enterprises by means of appropriate legislation. They shall also establish the means that will facilitate access by the workers to ownership of the means of production.
Article 130 [Modernization, Development]
(1) The public authorities shall attend to the modernization and development of all economic sectors, particularly of agriculture, livestock raising, fishing, and handicrafts, in order to equalize the standard of living of all Spaniards.
(2) For the same purpose, special treatment shall be provided to the mountain areas.
Article 131 [Planning]
(1) The State, by means of law, may plan the general economic activity to attend to collective needs, balance and harmonize regional and sectoral development, and stimulate the growth of income and wealth and their more equitable distribution.
(2) The Government shall develop planning projects in accordance with the forecasts provided to it by the Autonomous Communities and the advice and collaboration by the unions and other professional, business, and economic organizations. A Council shall be created for this purpose, whose composition and operation shall be developed by law.
Article 132 [Public Property]
(1) The law shall regulate the legal regime of the property in the public domain and community property, based on the principle of inalienability, imprescriptibility, non-seizure, and unencumbrance.
(2) Property in the public state domain, as determined by law are, in any case, the offshore zone, the beaches, the territorial sea, the natural resources of the economic zone, and the continental shelf.
(3) The Patrimony of the State and National Patrimony, their administration protection and preservation shall be regulated by law.
Article 133 [Taxation Power]
(1) The original power to establish taxes by means of law belongs exclusively to the State.
(2) The Autonomous Communities and the local Corporations may establish and levy taxes in accordance with the Constitution and the laws.
(3) All fiscal profits which affect State taxes must be established by virtue of law.
(4) The public administrations may only contract financial obligations and incur expenditures in accordance with the law.
Article 134 [Budget]
(1) It is incumbent upon the Government to prepare the General Budgets of the State and upon the Parliament to examine, amend, and approve them.
(2) The General Budgets of the State shall be of an annual character and shall include the totality of expenditures and revenues of the public sector of the State, containing the amount of the fiscal benefits which affect the taxes of the State.
(3) The Government must present to the House of Representatives the General Budgets of the State at least three months before the expiration of those of the previous year.
(4) If the Budget Law is not approved before the first day of the corresponding fiscal year, the Budgets of the previous fiscal year will automatically be considered extended until the approval of the new ones.
(5) Once the General Budgets of the State have been approved, the Government may present bills which imply increases in public expenditure or a decrease in revenues corresponding to the same budget year.
(6) Every proposition or amendment which involves an increase in credits or a decrease in budget revenues shall require the agreement of the Government before its transmission.
(7) The Law on Budgets cannot create taxes. It can modify them when a substantive tax law so provides.
Article 135 [Debt and Loans]
(1) The Government must be authorized by law to contract a Public Debt or obtain loans.
(2) Loans for satisfying the payment of interests and principal of the Public Debt of the State shall always be understood to be included in the state of expenditures of the budgets and may not be the object of amendment or modification as long as they are in keeping with the law of issue.
Article 136 [Court of Accounts]
(1) The Court of Accounts is the highest organ for checking the accounts and economic management of the State and the public sector.
It shall be directly dependent of the Parliament and shall exercise its functions through delegation by them in the examination and verification of the General Accounts of the State.
(2) The accounts of the State and the state public sector shall be rendered to the Court of Accounts and shall be examined by it.
The Court of Accounts, without prejudice to its own jurisdiction, shall send an annual report to the Parliament which, when applicable, lists the violations or responsibilities, which in its opinion have occurred.
(3) The members of the Court of Accounts shall enjoy the same independence and irremovability and shall be subject to the same incompatibilities as the Judges.
(4) An organic law shall regulate the composition, organization, and operation of the Court of Accounts.
Title VIII Territorial Organization
Chapter I General Principles
Article 137 [Municipalities, Provinces, Autonomous Communities]
The State is organized territorially into municipalities, provinces, and the Autonomous Communities which may be constituted. All these entities enjoy autonomy for the management of their respective interests.
Article 138 [Economic Balance]
(1) The State guarantees the effective realization of the principle of solidarity vested in Article 2, insuring the establishment of a proper and just economic balance among the various parts of Spanish territory, with particular attention to the status of the island possessions.
(2) The differences between the Statutes of the various Autonomous Communities may in no case imply economic or social privileges.
Article 139 [Equal Rights, Free Movement]
(1) All Spaniards have the same rights and obligations in any part of the territory of the State.
(2) No authority may adopt measures which directly or indirectly hinder the freedom of movement and establishment of persons and the free movement of goods throughout Spanish territory.
Chapter II Local Administration
Article 140 [Municipalities]
The Constitution guarantees the autonomy of the municipalities. These enjoy full legal personality. Their government and administration is the responsibility of their own city governments which are made up of the mayors and councilmen. The councilmen shall be elected by the residents of the municipality via universal equal, free, direct, and secret suffrage in the manner established by law. The mayors shall be elected by the councilmen or by the residents. The law shall regulate the conditions under which the system of an open council may proceed.
Article 141 [Provinces]
(1) The province is a local entity with its own legal personality determined by the collection of municipalities and territorial division for the fulfillment of the activities of the State. Any alteration in the provincial limits must be approved by the Parliament by means of an organic law.
(2) The government and Autonomous Administration of the provinces shall be trusted to Deputations or Corporations of a representative nature.
(3) Groupings of different municipalities of the province may be created.
(4) In the archipelagos, each island shall a]so have their own administration in the form of Cabildos or councils.
Article 142 [Financial Autonomy]
The local treasuries must have the means necessary for carrying out the functions which the law attributes to the respective corporations and they shall be supported basically by their own taxes and by sharing those of the State and the Autonomous Communities.
Chapter III Autonomous Communities
Article 143 [Autonomy Initiative]
(1) In the exercise of the right to autonomy recognized in Article 2, bordering provinces with common historical, cultural, and economic characteristics, the island territories, and the provinces with a historical regional unity may accede to self-government and constitute themselves into autonomous communities in accordance with the provisions of that Title and the respective statutes.
(2) The initiative for the autonomous process belongs to all the interested deputations or to the pertinent inter-island body and to two-thirds of the municipalities whose population represents at least the majority of the electorate of each province or island. These requirements must be fulfilled within a period of six months from the first agreement adopted on the subject by one of the interested local corporations.
(3) The initiative, in case it does not prosper, can only be repeated after the passage of five years.
Article 144 [Authority Authorization]
The Parliament, by means of an organic law, may for reasons of national interest:
a) authorize the establishment of an Autonomous Community when its territorial area does not exceed that of a province and does not have the conditions set forth in Article 143;
b) authorize or accord, depending on the case, a statute of autonomy for territories which are not integrated into the provincial organization; and
c) substitute the initiative of the local corporations to which Article 143 (2) refers.
Article 145 [Restricted Cooperation]
(1) In no case shall the federation of Autonomous Communities be allowed.
(2) The statutes may specify the conditions, requirements, and terms under which the Autonomous Communities may establish agreements among themselves for the administration and rendering of services pertaining to them, as well as the nature and purposes of the corresponding communication of them to the Parliament. Under other conditions, cooperation agreements between Autonomous Communities shall require the authorization of the Parliament.
Article 146 [Statute of Autonomy]
The draft of the statute shall be prepared by an assembly consisting of members of the Deputation or inter-insular organ of the affected provinces and by the Deputies and Senators elected in them and shall be forwarded to the Parliament for its enactment into law.
Article 147 [Adopting the Statute]
(1) Within the terms of the present Constitution, the statutes shall be the basic institutional norm of each Autonomous Community and the State shall recognize them and protect them as an integral part of its juridical order.
(2) The Statutes of autonomy must contain:
a) The name of the Community which best corresponds to its historical identity.
b) The delimitation of its territory.
c) The name, organization, and seat of its own autonomous institutions.
d) The competences assumed within the framework of the Constitution and the bases for the transfer of the corresponding services to them.
(3) The reform of statutes shall be in accordance with the procedure established in them and shall in any case require the approval of the Parliament by means of an organic law.
Article 148 [Competences]
(1) The Autonomous Communities may assume competences in the following:
1) organization of their institutions of self-government;
2) alterations of the municipal boundaries contained within its area, and in general the functions which belong to the State Administration concerning local corporations and whose transfer is authorized by the legislation on Local Governments;
3) regulation of the territory, urbanism, and housing;
4) public works of interest to the Autonomous Community in its own territory;
5) railways and highways whose itinerary runs completely in the territory of the Autonomous Community and within the same boundaries and transportation carried out by these means or by cable;
6) ports of refuge, recreational ports, airports, and generally those which do not carry out commercial activities;
7) agriculture and livestock raising in accord with the general regulations;
8) woodlands and forestry;
9) activities in matters of environmental protection;
10) water projects, canals, and irrigation systems of interest to the Autonomous Community and mineral and thermal waters;
11) fishing in inland waters, hunting, and river fishing;
12) interior fairs;
13) promotion of the economic development of the Autonomous Community within the objectives marked by the national economic polity;
15) museums, libraries, and conservatories of interest to the Autonomous Community;
16) monuments of interest to the Autonomous Community;
17) promotion of culture, research, and, when applicable, the teaching of the language of the Autonomous Community;
18) promotion and regulation of tourism within its territorial area;
19) promotion of sports and adequate utilization of leisure;
20) social assistance;
21) health and hygiene; and
22) the custody and protection of its buildings and installations, the coordination and other functions with respect to local police forces under the terms an organic law shall establish.
(2) After five years have elapsed and through the reform of its statutes, the Autonomous Communities may then expand their competences within the framework established in Article 149.
Article 149 [State Competences]
(1) The State holds exclusive competence over the following matters:
1) the regulation of the basic conditions which guarantee the equality of all Spaniards in the exercise of their rights and fulfillment of their constitutional duties;
2) nationality, immigration, emigration, alienage, and the right of asylum;
3) international relations;
4) defense and the Armed Forces;
5) administration of Justice;
6) mercantile, penal, and prison legislation, procedural legislation, without prejudice to the necessary specialties which in this order may derive from the particularities of the substantive law of the Autonomous Communities;
7) labor legislation, without prejudice to its execution by the organs of the Autonomous Communities;
8) civil legislation, without prejudice to the preservation, modification, and development by the Autonomous Communities of civil “fueros”, or special nights, where they may exist; in any case, the rules relative to the application and effectiveness of legal norms, civil-legal relations having to do with the form of matrimony, regulation of registers and public instruments, the bases for contractual obligations, norms for resolving the conflicts of laws, and the determination of the sources of the law, in this last case, with respect to the norms of the “fueros” and special law;
9) legislation concerning intellectual and industrial property;
10) system of customs, tariffs, and foreign trade;
11) monetary system, foreign credits, exchange and convertibility; the general bases for the regulation of credit, banking, and insurance;
12) legislation on weights and measures, determination of the official time;
13) bases and coordination of general planning and economicactivity;
14) general finance and debt of the state;
15) promotion and general coordination of scientific and technical research;
16) external health; bases and general coordination of health; legislation concerning pharmaceutical products;
17) basic legislation and economic system of social security, without prejudice to the execution of its services by the Autonomous Communities;
18) the bases of the legal system of the public administrations and the statutory system for its officials which shall in every case guarantee that the administered will receive a common treatment by them; a common administrative procedure, without prejudice to the specialties deriving from the particular organization of the Autonomous Communities; legislation on forcible expropriation; basic legislation on contracts and administrative concessions, and the system of responsibility of all public administration;
19) maritime fishing, without prejudice to the competences attributed to the Autonomous Communities in the regulation of the sector;
20) merchant marine and the ownership of ships; lighting of coasts and maritime signals; ports of general interest, airports of general interest, control of the air space, transit and transport, meteorological service and registration of aircraft;
21) railroads and land transport which crosses through the territory of more than one Autonomous Community; general communications system, traffic, and movement of motor vehicles; mail and telecommunications; aerial cables, submarine cables, and radio communication;
22) the legislation, regulation, and concession of water resources and projects when the waters run through more than one Autonomous Community and the authorization of electrical installations when their use affects another community or when the transport of energy goes beyond its territorial area;
23) basic legislation on environmental protection without prejudice to the faculties of the Autonomous Communities to establish additional standards of protection; basic legislation on woodlands, forestry projects, and livestock trails;
24) public works of general interest or whose realization affects more than one Autonomous Community;
25) bases of the mining and energy system;
26) system of production, sale, possession, and use of arms and explosives;
27) basic norms of the system of press, radio, and television and, in general, of the other means of social communication, without prejudice to the faculties which in their development and execution belong to the Autonomous Communities;
28) protection of the cultural, artistic, and monument patrimony of Spain against exportation and exploitation; museums, libraries, and archives belonging to the State without prejudice to their management by the Autonomous Communities;
29) public security, without prejudice to the possibility of the creation of police by the Autonomous Communities in the manner which may be established in the respective statutes within the framework of the provisions of the organic law;
30) regulations of the conditions for obtaining, issuing, approving, and standardizing academic and professional degrees and basic norms for carrying out Article 27 in order to guarantee compliance with the obligations of the public powers in this matter;
31) statistics for State purposes; and
32) authorization for the convocation of popular consultations via referendum.
(2) Without prejudice to the competences which the Autonomous Communities may assume, the state shall consider the service of culture a duty and essential attribute and shall facilitate cultural communication among the Autonomous Communities in agreement with them.
(3) The matters not attributed expressly to the state by this Constitution belong to the Autonomous Communities by virtue of their respective statutes. Authority over matters not assumed by the Statutes of Autonomy shall belong to the state, whose norms shall prevail in case of conflict over those of the Autonomous Communities in everything which is not attributed to their exclusive competence. The law of the State shall in every case be supplementary to the law of the Autonomous Communities.
Article 150 [Granting and Retaining Authority]
(1) The Parliament, in matters within the competence of the State, may grant to all or one of the Autonomous Communities the authority to dictate for itself legislative norms within the framework of the principles, bases, and directives established by a state law. Without prejudice to the competence of the Courts, within the framework of every law shall be established the method of control by the Parliament over these legislative norms of the Autonomous Communities.
(2) The State may transfer or delegate to the Autonomous Communities by an organic law those faculties on matters within the competence of the State, which because of their own nature are susceptible to transference or delegation. The law shall in each case contain the pertinent transfer of financial means as well as the forms of control the State reserves for itself.
(3) The State may dictate laws which establish the principles necessary to harmonize the normative, provisions of the Autonomous Communities even in the case of matters attributed to their competence when the general interest so demands. It is up to the Parliament, by the absolute majority in each Chamber, to evaluate this necessity.
Article 151 [Immediate Autonomy]
(1) It shall not be necessary to wait for the five-year period referred to in Article 148 (2) to elapse when the initiative for the autonomous process is agreed upon within the time limit specified in Article 143 (2), not only by the corresponding Provincial Deputations or inter-island bodies, but also by three-quarters of the Municipalities of each province concerned, representing at least the majority of the electorate of each one, and said initiative is ratified by means of a referendum by the affirmative vote of the absolute majority of the electors in each province, under the terms to be established by an organic law.
(2) In the case provided for in the foregoing paragraph, the procedure for drafting the statute shall be as follows:
1) The Government shall summon all the Deputies and Senators elected in the electoral districts within the territorial area seeking self-government in order to constitute themselves into an Assembly for the sole purpose of drawing up the corresponding draft statute for self-government, to be adopted by the absolute majority of its members.
2) Once the draft statute has been passed by the assembly, it shall be remitted to the Constitutional Commission of the House of Representatives which shall examine it within the time of two months with the concurrence and assistance of a delegation from the Assembly which has proposed it, in order to decide in common agreement upon its definitive formulation.
3) If such an agreement is reached, the resulting text shall be submitted in a referendum of the electoral corps of the provinces within the territorial area to be covered by the proposed statute.
4) If the draft statute is approved in each province by themajority of validly cast votes, it shall be referred to the Parliament. Both Chambers, in plenary assembly, shall decide upon the text by means of a vote of ratification. Once the statute has been approved, the King shall sanction it and shall promulgate it as law.
5) If the agreement referred to in Subparagraph 2) is not reached, the draft statute shall be treated like a draft law in the Parliament. The text approved by them shall be submitted in a referendum of the electoral corps of the provinces within the territorial area to be covered by the draft statute. In the event that it is passed by the majority of the validly cast votes in each province, it shall be promulgated under the terms outlined in the foregoing subparagraph.
(3) In the cases described in Subparagraphs 4) and 5) of the foregoing paragraph, failure to pass the draft statute by one or several of the provinces shall not impede the constitution of the remaining provinces into an Autonomous Community in the form as shall be established by the organic law envisaged in Paragraph (1).
Article 152 [Governing Council]
(1) In the Statutes passed by means of the procedure referred to in the foregoing article, the institutional autonomous organization shall be based on a legislative assembly elected by universal suffrage in accordance with a system of proportional representation which assures, moreover, the representation of the various areas of the territory; a Governing Council with executive and administrative functions, and a president elected by the Assembly from among its members and appointed by the King, to whom shall be responsible for directing the Governing Council, which constitutes the supreme representation of the respective Community as well as the State’s ordinary representation in the latter. The president and the members of the Governing Council shall be politically responsible before the Assembly.
A High Court of Justice, without prejudice to the jurisdiction exercised by the Supreme Court, shall be at the head of the Judiciary within the territorial area of the Autonomous Community. The statutes of the Autonomous Communities shall establish the circumstances and manner in which they will participate in the organization of the judicial demarcations of the territory. All of this must be in conformity with the provisions of the organic law on judicial power and compatible with its unity and independence.
Without prejudice to the provisions of Article 123, successive appeals shall, where applicable, be lodged with judicial bodies located in the same territory of the Autonomous Community as that in which the competent court of the first instance is located.
(2) Once the respective statutes have been sanctioned and promulgated, they may only be amended by means of the procedures established therein and through a referendum of the electors registered in the corresponding electoral rolls.
(3) By means of grouping the bordering municipalities together, the Statutes may establish their own territorial electoral districts, which will enjoy full legal personality.
Article 153 [Control]
Control over the activity of the organs of the Autonomous Communities shall be exercised by
a) the Constitutional Court, in matters relative to the constitutionality of its normative provisions having the force of law;
b) the Government, after the handing down by the Council of State of its opinion, regarding the exercise of the delegated functions referred to in Article 150 (2);
c) the jurisdiction in administrative litigation, with regard to autonomous administration and its regulatory norms;
d) the Court of Accounts, with regard to economic and budgetary matters.
Article 154 [Government Delegate]
A delegate appointed by the Government shall direct the administration of the State in the territorial area of each Autonomous Community and shall coordinate it, when necessary, with the Community’s own administration.
Article 155 [Government Force]
(1) If an Autonomous Community does not fulfill the obligations imposed upon it by the Constitution or other laws, or should act in a manner seriously prejudicing the general interest of Spain, the Government, after lodging a complaint with the President of the Autonomous Community and failing to receive satisfaction therefor, may, following approval granted by an absolute majority of the Senate, adopt the means necessary in order to oblige the latter forcibly to meet said obligations, or in order to protect the above-mentioned general interest.
(2) With a view to implementing the measures provided for in the foregoing paragraph, the Government may give instructions to all the authorities of the Autonomous Communities.
Article 156 [Financial Autonomy]
(1) The Autonomous Communities shall enjoy financial autonomy for the development and exercise of their competencies, in conformity with the principles of coordination with the State Treasury and solidarity among all Spaniards.
(2) The Autonomous Communities may act as delegates or collaborators of the State for the collection, management, and settlement of the latter’s tax resources, in conformity with the law and the statutes.
Article 157 [Tax Autonomy]
(1) The resources of the Autonomous Communities shall consist of:
a) taxes wholly or partially assigned to them by statute, charges on State taxes, and other shares in State taxes;
b) their own taxes, rates, and special levies;
c) transfers from an inter-territorial clearing fund and other allocations to be charged to the General State Budgets;
d) revenues accruing from their property and private law income;
e) the yield from credit operations.
(2) The Autonomous Communities may under no circumstances adopt measures to raise taxes on property located outside their territory or likely to hinder the free movement of goods or services.
(3) By means of an organic law, the exercise of the financial competences enumerated in Paragraph (1) may be regulated, the norms for settling the conflicts which may arise, and the possible forms of financial collaboration between the Autonomous Communities and the State.
Article 158 [State Allocation, Clearing Fund]
(1) In the General State Budgets, an allocation may be made to the Autonomous Communities in proportion to the volume of State services and State activities for which they have assumed responsibility and to their guarantee to provide a minimum level of basic public services throughout Spanish territory.
(2) With the object of correcting inter-territorial economic imbalances and implementing the principle of solidarity, a clearing fund shall be established for investment expenditure, whose resources shall be distributed by the Parliament among the Autonomous Communities and the provinces, as the case may be.
Title IX Constitutional Court
Article 159 [Composition]
(1) The Constitutional Court is composed of twelve members appointed by the King. Of these, four shall be nominated by the House of Representatives by a majority of three-fifths of its members, four shall be nominated by the Senate with the same majority; two shall be nominated by the Government, and two by the General Council of the Judiciary.
(2) The members of the Constitutional Court shall be appointed from among Magistrates and Prosecutors, University professors, public officials, and lawyers, all of whom must be jurists of acknowledged competence with at least fifteen years of professional experience.
(3) The members of the Constitutional Court shall be appointed for a period of nine years and shall be renewed by thirds every three years.
(4) The office of member of the Constitutional Court is incompatible with any representative function, with a management role in a political party or trade union, or any employment in their service, with a career as Judge or Prosecutor, and with any professional or commercial activity whatsoever.
In other cases, the incompatibilities relative to the judicial power shall also be applicable to the members of the Constitutional Court.
(5) The members of the Constitutional Court shall be independent and irremovable during their term of office.
Article 160 [President]
The President of the Constitutional Court shall be appointed by the King from among its members, on the recommendation of the Plenum of the Court itself, for a period of three years.
Article 161 [Competences]
(1) The Constitutional Court has jurisdiction over the whole of Spanish territory and is competent to hear:
a) appeals on the grounds of unconstitutionality against laws and regulations having the force of law; a declaration of unconstitutionality of a legal rule with the status of law, interpreted by jurisprudence, shall also affect the latter, although an overturned sentence or sentences shall not lose the validity of a judgment;
b) appeals against violation of the rights and liberties referred to in Article 53 (2), in the cases and forms to be established by law;
c) conflicts of competence between the State and the Autonomous Communities or between the Autonomous Communities themselves;
d) other matters assigned to it by the Constitution or by organic laws.
(2) The Government may contest before the Constitutional Court the provisions and resolutions adopted by the organs of the Autonomous Communities. The challenge shall produce the suspension of the contested provisions or resolution, but the Court must either ratify or lift the suspension, as the case may be, within a period of not more than five months.
Article 162 [Standing]
(1) The following are eligible to:
a) lodge an appeal of unconstitutionality: the President of the Government, the Defender of the People, fifty Deputies, fifty Senators, the executive corporate bodies of the Self-Governing Communities and, when applicable, their Assemblies;
b) lodge an appeal: any natural or legal person invoking a legitimate interest, as well as the Defender of the People and the Office of the Public Prosecutor.
(2) In all other cases, the organic law shall determine which persons and organs are eligible.
Article 163 [Constitutionality Review]
If a judicial organ considers, in some action, that a regulation with the status of law which is applicable thereto and upon the validity of which the judgment depends, may be contrary to the Constitution, it may bring the matter before the Constitutional Court in the cases, manner, and with the consequences which the law establishes, which in no case shall be suspensive.
Article 164 [Effect of Judgments]
(1) The verdicts of the Constitutional Court shall be published in the Official State Gazette with the dissenting votes, if any. They have the validity of a judgment as from the day following their publication, and no appeal may be brought against them. Those which declare the unconstitutionality of a law or of a norm with the force of law, and all those which are not limited to the subjective evaluation of a right, shall be fully binding on everybody.
(2) Unless the verdict rules otherwise, that part of the law not affected by unconstitutionality shall remain in force.
Article 165 [Organizational Law]
An organic law shall regulate the functioning of the Constitutional Court, the statutes of its members, the procedure to be followed before it, and the conditions governing actions brought before it.
Title X Constitutional Amendment
Article 166 [Initiative]
The right to propose a Constitutional amendment shall be exercised under the terms contained in Article 87 (1) and (2).
Article 167 [Procedure]
(1) Bills on Constitutional amendment must be approved by a majority of three-fifths of the members of each Chamber. If there is no agreement between the Chambers, an effort to reach it shall be made by setting up a Joint Commission of Deputies and Senators which shall submit a text to be voted on by the House of Representatives and the Senate.
(2) If adoption is not obtained by means of the procedure outlined in the foregoing paragraph, and provided that the text has obtained a favorable vote by an absolute majority of the Senate, the House of Representatives may approve the amendment by a two-thirds vote.
(3) Once the amendment has been passed by the Parliament, it shall be submitted to a referendum for its ratification, if so requested by one tenth of the members of either Chamber within fifteen days after its passage.
Article 168 [Revision]
(1) When a total revision of the Constitution is proposed, or a partial revision thereof, affecting the Preliminary Title, Chapter II, Section 1 of Title I, or Title II, the principle shall be approved by a two-thirds majority of the members of each Chamber, and the Parliament shall immediately be dissolved.
(2) The Chambers elected must ratify the decision and proceed to examine the new Constitutional text, which must be approved by a two-thirds majority of the members of both Chambers.
(3) Once the amendment has been passed by the Parliament, it shall be submitted to ratification by referendum.
Article 169 [Restriction]
A Constitutional amendment may not be initiated in time of war or when any of the states outlined in Article 116 are in operation.
[Title XI] Additional Provisions
(1) The Constitution protects and respects the historic rights of the territories with “fueros”.
(2) The general updating of the “fuero” system shall be carried out, when appropriate, within the framework of the Constitution and of the Statutes of Autonomy.
The declaration regarding coming of age contained in Article 12 shall not be prejudicial to the cases to which the “fuero” rights are applicable within the sphere of Private Law.
Any modification of the financial and tax system of the Canarian Archipelago shall require a previous report from the Autonomous Community or, as the case may be, from the provisional autonomous organ.
In those Autonomous Communities where more than one Territorial Court has its offices, the Statutes of Autonomy may maintain the existing Courts, distributing jurisdiction among them, provided this is done always in accordance with the provisions of the Organic Law on Judicial Power and in conformity with its unity and independence.
[Title XII] Transitional Provisions
In the territories with a provisional regime of Autonomy, their higher collegiate organs may, by means of an agreement adopted by an absolute majority of their members, substitute for the initiative which, in Article 143 (2) is attributed to the Provincial Councils or corresponding inter-island organs.
The territories which in the past have, by plebiscite, approved draft Statutes of Autonomy, and which, at the time of the promulgation of this Constitution, have provisional regimes of autonomy, may proceed immediately in the manner provided in Article 148 (2), when agreement thereon is reached by an absolute majority of their pre-autonomous higher collegiate organs, and the Government is duly informed. The draft statutes shall be drawn up in accordance with the provisions of Article 151 (2) when so requested by the pre-autonomous collegiate organ.
The initiative of the process towards autonomy conferred on the local corporations or their members, which is contained in Article 43 (2), shall be postponed for all purposes until the first local elections have taken place, once the Constitution has come into effect.
In the case of Navarra, and for the purposes of its incorporation into the General Basque Council or the Basque autonomous regime replacing it, instead of the provisions established by Article 143, the initiative shall lie with the competent “Foral” organ, which shall adopt its decision by a majority of the members comprising it. In order for this initiative to be valid, the decision of the competent “Foral” organ must also be ratified by a referendum expressly held for this purpose and passed by a majority of the valid votes cast.
If the initiative does not succeed, it may only be repeated during a different term of office of the competent “Foral” organ and, in any case, only when the minimum period laid down in Article 143 has elapsed.
The cities of Ceuta and Melilla may constitute themselves as Autonomous Communities if their respective Municipal Councils should so decide by means of an absolute majority of their members and if the Parliament thus authorizes, by means of an organic law, under the terms provided in Article 144.
When various draft statutes are referred to the Constitutional Commission of the House of Representatives, decisions regarding them shall be taken according to the order in which they are received. The two months’ period referred to in Article 151 shall be counted from the moment that the Commission terminates its study of the draft or drafts that it has successively examined.
The provisional autonomous organisms shall be considered dissolved in the following cases:
a) once the organs established by the Statutes of Autonomy approved in conformity with the Constitution have been established;
b) in the event that the initiative of the autonomous process should not be successful on account of non-compliance with the requirements provided in Article 143;
c) if the organism has not exercised the right recognized in the first transitory provision within a period of three years.
(1) Once the present Constitution has become effective, the Chambers which adopted it shall assume the functions and powers indicated therein for the House of Representatives and the Senate respectively, while under no circumstances shall their term of office continue beyond 15 June 1981.
(2) With regard to the provisions established in Article 99, the promulgation of the Constitution shall be considered as creating the Constitutional basis for its subsequent application. To this end, there shall be a thirty-day period, as from the date of the promulgation, for implementing the provisions laid down in said article.
During this period, the current President of the Government, who shall assume the functions and competencies established by the Constitution for this office, may opt to utilize the authority conferred on him by Article 115 or, by means of resignation, leave the way open for application of the provisions established in Article 99. In the latter case, the situation relative to the President shall be that provided in Article 101 (2).
(3) In the case of dissolution, in accordance with the provisions of Article 115, and if the provisions contained in Articles 68 and 69 have not been enacted into law, the rules previously in force shall be applicable in the elections, with the sole exception of those provisions which refer to ineligibilities and incompatibilities, to which the provisions of Article 70 (1) b) shall be directly applicable, as well as its provisions concerning the voting age and those contained in Article 69 (3).
Three years after the election for the first time of the members of the Constitutional Court, lots shall be drawn for the designation of a group of four members of the same background as those who must retire and be replaced. For this purpose, the two members designated by the General Council of the Judicial Power shall be considered as coming from the same background. In the same manner, after three years have elapsed, the same procedure shall be carried out with regard to the two groups not affected by the previous drawing of lots. Thereafter, the provisions established in Article 159 (3) shall be applied.
[Title III] Repeal Provision
(1) Law 1/1977, of 4 Jan, for political reform, is hereby repealed, as well as the following laws, in so far as they were not already repealed by the abovementioned law:
– the Law of the Fundamental Principles of the Movement of 17 May 1958,
– the “Fuero” of the Spanish People of 17 July 1945,
– the “Fuero” of Labor of 9 March 1938,
– the Constitutive Law of the Parliament of 17 July 1942,
– the Law of Succession for the Headship of State of 26 July 1947,
– all of which as amended by the Organic Law of State of 10 Jan 1967, and under the same terms, last mentioned,
– the law of the National Referendum of 22 Oct 1948.
(2) To the extent that it may still retain some validity, the Royal Decree of 25 Oct 1839 shall be definitively repealed in so far as it affects the provinces of Alava, Guipuzcoa, and Vizcaya.
Under the same terms, the Law of 21 July 1876 shall be considered definitively repealed.
(3) Likewise, any provisions contrary to those contained in the Constitution shall be repealed.
[Title XIV] Final Provision
This Constitution shall enter into force on the day of the publication of the official text in the Official State Gazette. It shall also be published in the other languages of Spain